Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationIllinois, Urbana, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9868
Approve DateMay 1, 2019
Project TitleYim, Andi I (Illinois, Urbana, U. of) "Ontogeny, Evolution and Ecogeographic Patterns of Human Limb Morphology"
The spatial distribution of human limb morphology in modern humans is consistent with prediction of Allen’s and Bergmann’s rule. Past studies suggested that adaptation by natural selection to climate, neutral evolutionary forces and plasticity all play important roles in shaping the diverse patterns. However, how these different forces influence limb morphology through their effects on ontogeny (growth and development) remain unclear. Using a dataset of computed tomography (CT) scans of modern children, I will study how human limb morphology change during ontogeny. I will use an evolutionary genetics informed mixed effects linear model approach to distinguish the effects of neutral evolution, correlated and direct response to selection on the ontogenetic trajectories of human limb morphology. I will also reconstruct selection gradients in different age stages to test hypotheses about how selection acting at different stages during ontogeny has different effects on the variation of limb morphology in adults. This research applies evolutionary genetics approach to the study of human limb morphology and will contribute to our understanding of how human limbs evolve through change in ontogeny.